most strange dreams

"I want His secrets, His softest secrets," Arianna whispers to me.

Later, a friend from home approaches. "How are you?" I ask, embracing him. It's been a long time. He falls on me, starts weeping. He has cancer.

So does Francisco's daughter, a Mexican man who works in our cafeteria. In real life, I just interviewed him for a presentation in Spanish.

Two other people in the dream are also very sick. "It will be a year of pain and death," a voice says over me.

Music starts to play- someone is playing music. And I dance. I dance like I'm flying, I'm moving everywhere, jumping and twirling and spinning and kicking, dancing only the way one can dance in dreams.

"I want His secrets, His softest secrets," I wake up whispering.


early morning haikus

out of decent tea
brain mulling Osama's thoughts
i love school, repeat

O Islamism
i am very ignorant
when you come around

that girl over there
crocheting yellow blanket
at this time of night?

double essays due
the professors, they must plan
to ruin my life


"A disciple once came to Abba Joseph saying, "Father, according as I am able, I keep my little rule, my litle fast, and my little prayer. And according as I am able I strive to cleanse my mind of all evil thought and my heart of evil intent. Now, what more should I do?" Abba Joseph rose up and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire. He answered,

"Why not be totally changed to fire?"


i am (from Jenelle and Lisa)

i am hailing from the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

i am in love with the smell and feel of old books.

i am a believer in deep lungfuls of breath during any sort of Weather, outside.

i am a friend who would like nothing better than to share a cup of tea with you.

i am a child of addiction, and a fighter of my own.

i am a pilgrim in Shadowlands, looking for the Peace and the Joy and the Truth.

i am a listener of lore, of stories, and of hearts.

i am learning to listen.

And tell me, who are you?


rejoice and hold hands

A bonfire night, to celebrate Trevor and Jenelle's birthdays, and a couple others, too. 20 of us on the beach, smoking pipes and humming melodies, beating djembes and a few of the guys with flame throwers, spitting oil to breathe out fire like dragons. Real dragonfire. A raucous celebration.

All of us skinny dipping, girls to one side, boys to the other, our bums white in the glow of the mist and cloud overhead. And I walk barefoot, my toes curling into all this pale sand...

I would like a real peace pipe, I think. I mentioned this and Jesse talked about one made by both Israelis and Palestinians, half and half. I would like one like that, smoked in a circle with real, conflict-ridden, multi-cultured friends.

A few partying highschool boys came to our little circle and hung out for a while. They asked where we were from and someone responded, "All over the world." And it was unthought of, unconsidered, but true.

Later, we moved to an apartment to smoke hookah and dance, eat beautiful homemade desserts and laugh together. Oh, these California Novembers... how I love these nights.


the whaler / thrice

My lover’s song will it beg me to stay?
I know the stars, they will sweep me away.
My daughter’s eyes, they are two tiny seeds.
Its water will rise and run down her cheeks.

Father where do you go so far out upon the sea?
When are you coming home to me?
Darling why do you leave?
As the north wind begins to blow will you be coming home to me?

The boat and the plank, they are that I know.
The sea calls my name and so I must go.
While they still sleep, I slip out the door.
But how can I leave when my anchor’s ashore?

Father where do you go? It’s farther than I can see.
When are you coming home to me?


"Afterwards Aaron came out front and talked and played some Dylan and the Spider songs, and a few others. He has this mustard seed kind of faith. Like he's constantly second guessing himself- such a small faith, so qualified you'd think it would be invalidated...but it was strong...

I wanted to ask him about being afraid of God and why following Christ is so painful. But then again he talked about how pretty much "life is shit and I have joy and its from this big thing people call God and that's about all I understand." I feel like my life is ringing. I don't know what to make of myself. Nothing perhaps. Aaron was talking about colleges and marriages and kids and how that's good, go live what you need to live, try what you need to try, but ask yourself if that's really what you're looking for and talking about how it all fades, we all die. And I've heard that a million times but never by someone who looks like they're living it. And I've never heard someone advocate singleness so explicitly before.

Shadow am I. There was this one moment where this girl just getting shoved past me and kinda looking panicked and...well, I'd say I put my arm around her but it was kinda just how the push of the crowd went at first. But I don't know...this is gonna sound really weird and cliché, but it felt right to be defending/reassuring someone in that crazy mess, and also just to be with someone in it. It wasn't sexual at all...I give up trying to explain it...but it was very different from the moment later when this girl is dancing on my arm and I'm like "is she hitting on me, does she even realize I'm here, and this is making me feel very uncomfortable but I want that touch." Oi.

I don't know...do you guys ever feel that way...like if someone kissed you on the cheek or touched you, you'd just fall apart and start crying...I don't know...I've had way too many moments like that this semester, though most of the time the touch never comes anyway. And sometimes I feel like my self-control is killing me."

James sent us this message about seeing the same show Trevor and I just saw (only in Oklahoma). We (my roommate Bethany and I) read it and cried. We pulled our other roommate in with us to strum guitar and sing a quiet song, to pray sparse, stuttering prayers. We held each other for a few precious minutes.

What else can we do but go on, but try to see His face? There is nothing else, there is nothing else. And I don't know what to do but to keep going, to cling to these moments like surface gasps of air, like water in a parched land, like something to hold as we drown. We follow, even as we carry each other.


child of the earth

"Don't you like a rather foggy day in a wood in autumn? You'll find we shall be perfectly warm sitting in the car."
Jane said she'd never heard of anyone liking fogs before but she didn't mind trying. All three got in.
"That's why Camilla and I got married," said Denniston as they drove off. "We both like Weather. Not this or that kind of weather, but just Weather. It's a useful taste if one lives in England."

-CS Lewis, That Hideous Strength


"i have my father's hand
i have my mother's tongue
i look for redemption in everyone

there is all this untouched beauty
the light the dark both running through me
is there still redemption for anyone?

changes come
turn my world around"


we'd sit in the room, listening to albums on vinyl
burning incense
talking about shows like we were savvy critics
playing mix tapes to sing along
thanks for sharing mewithoutYou with me all those years ago, sam.

Trevor and I drove down to LA last night for the show. mewithoutYou was only opening, but even those 30 minutes were so beautiful. Thrice was amazing, of course, and even though I was, confessedly, a bit skeptical of Brand New, they were so emotionally charged and raw during their whole, long set. At least live, I am sold on them.

Nelly and a friend met us outside The Wiltern for some genuine Chinese bean-sauce noodles at a hole-in-wall place and then bad but welcome cups of coffee from Denny's while we waited in line. We saw Aaron going through the trash (read my favorite interview with him here: http://www.bustedhalo.com/features/BustedAaronWeissmewithoutYoupart1.htm) and awkwardly said hello. He offered us pieces of pizza, but we were so full.

The drive home held more music, especially Radiohead (of course), crunchy green apples and good conversation. There's nothing really to say, except that I want to be part of this truth-telling, this way of writing things so true that it hurts and offends and feeds all at once. I want to eat truth like bread each day. I want to swim in it like the ocean, feel its waves crash around me. I want to know it communally, with others. I don't know how these musicians write songs that are so true- how they verbalize that we're "playing around with matchsticks when we could be utterly changed to flame," that we "do the best we can." We're so small and weak and incapable, but He says we'll overcome. Oh, doubters. "We desire truth in the inmost parts," a friend reminds me. And I want to remind others.

There was almost a desperation hanging over the entire show... a desperation seeping into us, a desperation we partook in.

"i was once the wine, and you,
you were the wineglass
i was once alive, when, when You held me"